New Bedford’s new director of tourism and marketing springs into action amid busy summer season – New Bedford Guide


The City of New Bedford has hired Ashley Payne as its new Director of Tourism and Marketing, Mayor Jon Mitchell announced today.

Payne is an experienced marketing professional who has served as Chief Marketing Officer for Bask, Inc. since 2018. She built and led the startup’s marketing department during that time, with tasks including creating campaigns digital and print, event coordination and collaboration with local businesses. Payne’s billboard design won a national award from New York-based Outfront Media in September 2021.

As a freelance digital marketer, Payne has also worked with Howe Allen Realty, a local real estate company in Fairhaven, providing social media content, campaign analysis and marketing advice.

“Ashley’s professionalism, creativity and strong ties to local businesses stood out in her bidding process,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “We are delighted to have him on board and to use his skills and experience to promote New Bedford and all it has to offer.”

Payne joins the town at the height of the summer tourist season and ahead of iconic local events such as this weekend’s New Bedford Folk Festival – returning after a two-year hiatus and celebrating 25 years since its founding in 1996 – the Summer Sound series and its Friday evening block parties downtown and the feast of the Blessed Sacrament from August 4 to 7. All of these events are supported by New Bedford’s growing arts community, small business and restaurant scene, making the town a hub of attractions for residents and visitors alike.

“On behalf of New Bedford Creative, we enthusiastically welcome Ashley Payne as Director of Tourism and Marketing,” said Margo Saulnier, Creative Strategist, New Bedford Creative. “Cultural tourism is one of our city’s greatest assets, and Ms. Payne’s marketing expertise, performing arts experience and collaborative spirit will enhance our future as a destination city.”

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